Initially this title graced the cover of an essay I had written for my Professional Ethics class way back in 1990. As part of the introduction to the presentation I started out with a blank chalk board and then drew a giant Question mark. Only beneath it I substituted a heart for the period. The theme in my mind was simply “Question with Love”. I then asked my classmates “What does this mean to you?” The result was such an interesting dialog and debate that I have used this over and over whenever the opportunity would present itself. And each time, there were positive outcomes in the discussion flow and almost everyone became highly engaged in sharing their thoughts.
What I witnessed during the varied conversations and multiple group dynamics was a genuine interest to understand my little image and associate it with the subject matter at hand. Wherever I drew this, on notepads in support group meetings, on white flip boards at inpatient Psych Therapy groups, in stone along the Oak Creek shore line near Cathedral Rock in Sedona, on chalkboards in classrooms, or on napkins during Hospice visits, I could see desire in the eyes of most everyone present as they explored their thoughts with a softer tone and somewhat of a more accepting broader approach.
One of my dearest friends in life suggested I read a book by Albert Ellis. After reading the line “Lets face it: Reality often stinks.” (p.197 of Albert Ellis/Robert Allen Harper’s book A Guide to Rational Living), I laughed out loud at the truth of this statement. We struggle our whole lives against both inward and outward resistance with different challenges, tasks, ideals and goals. And often we require help in many forms along this journey. The efforts of a few to embrace the needs of many seem to be an ongoing theme in the hearts of mankind. The September 2013 front page of Time caught my attention recently, with its “Solve Death” in brilliant color. Extending life is a stellar idea. Preparing for the future is as important with regards to Palliation of the symptoms of the aging process. As science lengthens lives so also does the number of people who will require more complex management of their extended lifespans. Longevity is a wonderful concept. As long as we ramp up our efforts to add Quality to Quantity. So now, with the acceptance of “Reality often stinks”, we are confronted with the current changing health care responsibilities in our lives.
Caring Choices will help you “Question with Love” when dealing with the often never “Black and White” decisions regarding the future healthcare quality we would want not only for ourselves, but also our friends, family, and those who are entrusted into our care. We all have such a wide variety of differences between us in the way we live. The two common denominators for each of us are, we all have no choice in how we came into this world and, if we leave it. What most all of us do have, is the choice how to live it.